- Get tested as soon as you see symptoms or if you change partner (even if you don't have symptoms). Left untreated, gonorrhoea can spread to other parts of your body and cause more problems
- Get tested if you are a woman planning to get pregnant or you are pregnant as gonorrhoea can harm an unborn baby
- Avoid sexual activity until you have completed treatment and been given the all clear
In rare cases, untreated gonorrhoea can lead to septicaemia, which is when the body has difficulty supplying blood to vital organs including the heart, kidney and brain. Without prompt treatment this can lead to multiple organ failure and even death. Symptoms include a fever, shivering, fast heartbeat and breathlessness. If your blood pressure drops to a dangerously low level, you can become unconscious.
Septicaemia requires urgent medical attention.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
In around 10-20% of cases, gonorrhoea that has not been treated can lead to PID, which infects the reproductive organs including ovaries, womb and fallopian tubes. Not all women have symptoms but those that do experience pain in the stomach and pelvic area, pain during peeing, pain during sex and heavy periods. In severe cases, it can lead to ectopic pregnancy (when a baby grows outside of the womb) or infertility. PID can be treated easily with antibiotics so do seek advice if you are concerned.
Pregnant women who have untreated gonorrhoea raise the risk of miscarriage, premature birth and having their baby born with conjunctivitis (inflammation of the eye), which can lead to permanent vision problems.
If gonorrhoea has been allowed to spread to the prostate gland and testicles, it may lead to reduced fertility in men and lessen their chance of conceiving a child.
All these complications can be avoided if you get tested for gonorrhoea at least once, every time you have a new partner and if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. To test yourself discreetly, order an easy-to-use gonorrohea test kit online. Your results will be available 24 hours after it reaches the laboratory.
Gonorrhea is more common in young people, particularly women aged 16-19 and men aged 20-24
Last updated October 3, 2016